Updated description by Greg, 8/26/14:
The Canmore Nordic Centre is a complex, interconnected web of singletrack and cross country ski trails. Thankfully, the signage is great and corresponds very well with an up-to-date map, available at the Trail Sports bike shop.
To hear some people talk about the Nordic Centre, you might think that all this area has to offer is buffed out machine-cut singletrack--but nothing could be further from the truth! While many of the trails at the Nordic Centre are indeed machine-built, the Centre is home to a vastly varied network of trails. Some of the machine-cut tracks are smooth and flowing, while others are chundery and offer challenging sections. Still other portions of trail are new school flow trails with berms, jumps, and rollers, and the skills park offers great jumps and stunts. And finally, if you look hard and aren't afraid of a challenge, you can still find steep fall line sections of old-school singletrack leftover from the World Cup days of yore.
My local guide, Charlie, gave me a fantastic sampling of the trails at the centre, but we didn't nearly hit everything! Thanks to the network format and the wide variety of trail difficult, we encountered all sorts of riders from hardened racers checking out the course for the upcoming Xterra to groups of kids that were a part of the local kids mountain bike program. Even on the Friday that we were riding, the main connectors to and from the trailhead were busy, and the Trail Sports rental fleet was almost completely gone. Still, as we ventured further into the network and onto the more challenging trails, we often were blanketed in complete solitude in the deep Alberta forest.
Trails continue to be added to the network as well. While the majority of the new trail developments coincide with the closure and rehabilitation of an old, unsustainable trail, there is new trail work in progress that will eventually revamp the singletrack connection to Banff, and then extend down into Kananaskis country and eventually connect to the Great Divide trail, thus rerouting the beginning of the Tour Divide route onto sweet, sweet singletrack! While this project is still just in the beginning phases, the kilometer of still-under-construction singletrack that I rode at the Nordic Centre is promising!